Blue has always been my favorite color, so I’ve tended to overlook red’s magical powers.
Magical powers? Apparently so. Red makes you more attractive, at least to men.
Five groundbreaking studies conducted by the University of Rochester just proved it. Researchers put pictures of various women in different colored frames, for example, and found that men rated the exact same women significantly more attractive when framed in red.
In another test, when the color of women’s shirts were digitally changed in photographs, men were more likely to find a woman beautiful, invite her on a date, and spend more money on said date, when she was wearing a red shirt.
Why does this happen? Well, researchers believe the effect is unconscious, dating back to when we were primates. Kind of like how we associate good posture with confidence and bad posture with insecurity because it mimics the alpha and omega posturing of our monkey forefathers. This enhancer only worked for women, by the way.
Since I almost never wear red, I decided to do a little experiment: wear red shirts for a few days and see what happened…
And the effect was startling. Men were much more likely to greet or smile at me and I received noticeably better customer service when wearing a red shirt.
Here are my tips for wearing the color red:
Don’t wear red with green
Red with green screams *CHRISTMAS*.
Yes, Christmas is coming up, but I still don’t recommend wearing red with green, even on Christmas, because it has an awkward, overdone vibe (like reindeer earrings or outrageous Santa sweaters).
Be careful about pairing red with black
Red with black is a classic staple, but can be a bit overpowering or reminiscent of the 80’s, when wearing red with black was all the rage.
If you want to go this route, it’s safer to avoid a 50/50 proportions. By this, I mean don’t wear a red top with a black bottom, giving the impression of checkerboard halves.
Instead, pair a red skirt covered in black lace with a black top or a red outfit with black accents.
But you can pair red with most other colors
A red dress, red shoes, and red lipstick can be a bit too much. I’m sure someone could pull it off, but red is a powerful color that easily crosses into overwhelming.
Red looks lovely with dark brown, cream, or white. It also pairs well with dove gray.
You can wear blue with red, but don’t use primary shades for both or you risk looking like a flag or superhero. Try red with pale or dark blue instead, or blue with deeper reds like burgundy.
Pick a shade that suits your complexion
For the full-powered red effect, it’s good to use true red, the kind of red that you get from a Crayola crayon box. Firetruck red. Stop-sign red. You get the idea.
But not everyone looks best in true red and you should take your complexion into account when selecting a shade.
Color theory is a whole science that’s too complicated to get into here, but roughly speaking, cool-tones people should select cool-toned reds and warm-toned people should select warm-toned reds.
Red lipstick is a powerful option
Red lipstick can look fantastic when properly done, but it’s a powerful makeup effect to be used with caution. You’re risking dried-up, sad clown territory when it’s done wrong.
You’ll need to pick a shade that suits your complexion and keep the rest of your makeup very simple. Don’t wear heavy eye makeup with it.
That being said, I disagree with the oft-repeated advice that red lipgloss is a safer way to ease into the red lipstick look. Gloss is shiny, so it draws more attention, and is more likely to smear. I think you’re better off with a light coating of matte red lipstick, blotted with a tissue. No matter what Cosmo tells you, red lipstick with red gloss tapped in the center is a recipe for disaster.
I hope you’ll find these tips useful when unleashing you newfound crazy mad powers of red.